Friday, July 20, 2007
Yes, it's time again for my weekly HOT PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT!!
This week I'm gonna tell you about one of my favorite things in the world, a little drink that has been around a Loooong time but is only now starting to pick up speed amongst the west.
I know I know, it's tricky to say at first, but it's pretty much said how it's spelled
Kom.Boo.Cha. I have been drinking this wonder drink for years, so I know a bit about it. So first off, what the hell is it?
The recorded history of this drink dates back to the Qin Dynasty in China (around 250 BC). The Chinese called it the "Immortal Health Elixir," because they believed Kombucha balanced the Middle Qi (Spleen and Stomach) and aided in digestion, allowing the body to focus on healing. Knowledge of Kombucha eventually reached Russia and then Eastern Europe around the Early Modern Age, when tea first became affordable by the populace.
Kombucha contains many different pro-biotic cultures along with several organic acids, active enzymes, amino acids, anti-oxidants, and polyphenols. For the home brewer, there is no way to know the amounts of the following componets unless a sample is sent to a lab. The FDA has no findings on the effects of kombucha. Each strain of kombucha may contain some of the following components depending on the source of the culture strain.
Acetic Acid: Its main function is to inhibit harmful bacteria. Acetic acid is used as a preservative because of this action. It is also what gives Kombucha that 'kick' to its smell and taste.
Butyric Acid: Is produced by the yeasts and when working with gluconic acid. Might help combat yeast infections such as candida.
Gluconic Acid: Is effective against many yeast infections such as candidiasis and thrush.
Lactic Acid: Found in Kombucha in its most potent form L-lactic(+). Lactic acid is essential for the digestive system.
Malic Acid: Is also used in the body's detoxification process.
Oxalic Acid: Encourages the cellular production of energy and is a natural preservative.
Usnic acid: Potent antibiotic that exhibits antiviral, antiprotozoal, antimitotic, anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity.
Kombucha also contains vitamin groups B and C, beneficial yeasts and bacteria.
In addition to, or aside from any possible health benefits, many users report a relatively subtle but definite perceptual shift after consuming kombucha. This perceptual shift is generally characterized by mild euphoria, relaxation, and an overall sense of physical and mental well-being. This effect is not to be confused with the highs associated with some illegal drugs. There are no known psychoactive or psychotropic substances found in Kombucha other than trace amounts of alcohol and if not made with decaf tea, caffeine. Alcohol amounts vary from 0.5% to 1.7% depending on brewing time and amounts of sugar used in the fermentation of the tea which may account for the experiencing of these effects by some consumers. Stimulation of the circulatory and immune systems, and associated glandular releases, may also account for some of these effects.
Again, I have been consuming this for years and highly recommend it!! You can now find it in most better supermarkets and even in deli's like those found on the streets of Manhattan!! Give it a try. It will take a little time to acclimate to the drink, but you will soon be craving a kombucha fix every day, you body will thank you as well as your tatse buds!!
(some in formation courtesy of Wikipedia)